Monday, Sep 26, 2022

R Balki Details How Guru Dutt Inspired His Thriller 'Chup: Revenge Of The Artist'

Filmmaker R Balki's film 'Chup: Revenge of the Artist' stars Dulquer Salmaan, Sunny Deol, Shreya Dhanwanthary, and Pooja Bhatt.

R Balki
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Filmmaker R Balki says cinema legend Guru Dutt was the perfect reference point for 'Chup: Revenge of the Artist', his upcoming thriller which depicts the pain of an artist who suffers from "wrong criticism". 

A teaser of 'Chup', unveiled over the weekend to mark Dutt's 97th birth anniversary, pays homage to the late director's film 'Kaagaz Ke Phool'.

The 1959 film, starring Dutt and Waheeda Rehman in the lead, was subjected to severe criticism upon its release and was later resurrected as a world cinema classic.

"The script has a lot of references to Guru Dutt," said Balki, who has co-written 'Chup' with Rishi Virmani and critic-turned-writer Raja Sen.

"We will have a lot of music from his films and have a lot of sensitivity of Guru Dutt. It is about the sensitivity of an artist. We are giving a rare example of an artist who has been wronged by the viewer or fans or the media, not so much media but opinion makers," the director told PTI.

'Kaagaz Ke Phool' was Dutt's eighth directorial effort after hits such as 'Baazi', 'Aar Paar', 'Mr & Mrs 55' and 'Pyaasa'. 

The film follows Suresh (Dutt), a lonely movie director who stumbles into Shanti (Rehman) one rainy evening and casts her as the lead in a film. In a cruel twist of fate, Shanti becomes a superstar and Suresh falls from the upper echelons of the film industry.

'Chup' is an attempt to explore the trauma of an artist who is judged after presenting their creation in public, said Balki.

"For me, (it) was about sensitivity towards artists. Guru Dutt sahab is one of the greatest artists who suffered from wrong criticism. Now the same community, all of us are calling 'Kaagaz Ke Phool' a 'masterpiece'. It's ironic. How much that person must have been hurt at that point of time?" he wondered.

Citing the example of 'Sholay', the filmmaker said there are numerous examples across the globe where people have dubbed "great stuff as trash".

"It is not just cinema, but it is with books, advertising, architecture, etc," he added.

Balki, 58, believes people lack "sensitivity" while giving out opinions. 

“Today, in this world, we are criticising everything under the sun. We criticise food, somebody’s look, writing or work, etc. freely," he added.

Starring Dulquer Salmaan, Sunny Deol, Shreya Dhanwanthary, and Pooja Bhatt, 'Chup' marks Balki's first thriller project. The filmmaker, known for his feature debut 'Cheeni Kum', 'Paa' and 'Padman', said it was not a conscious decision to explore a new genre.

“I don’t make films to break genres or to try something that I haven’t done. I look at stories that to the best of my knowledge haven’t been told anywhere. So, whatever genre it falls into, it becomes that. ‘Chup’ is a hardcore thriller in a commercial format,” he said.

Balki also revealed that his frequent collaborator, megastar Amitabh Bachchan will have a cameo in the movie. They have previously worked on 'Cheeni Kum', 'Paa', and 'Shamitabh'. 

'Chup' is produced by Hope Filmmakers and Jayantilal Gada’s Pen Studios.

[With Inputs From PTI]